The final phase-out date for all single-hull tank vessels and all single-hull tank vessels with double sides or double bottoms, 46 USC 3703A, to operate carrying oil in bulk in U.S. waters, including the Exclusive Economic Zone, is 1st January 2015.
As at 1st January 2015, Tank vessels less than 5000 gross tons for which a building contract or contract for major conversion was placed before 30th June 1990, and that was delivered under contract before 1st January 1994, may no longer operate carrying oil in bulk as cargo in U.S. waters.
Only double hull tank vessels of 5000 gross tons and above, and delivered after 31st December1986, are permitted to operate in U.S. waters after 1st January 2015.
According to the below table, there are only a handful of vessels worldwide that may be affected by this 1st January deadline:
Of the 106 vessels, 13 are OPA-90-exempt because they are of double hull construction delivered between 1998 and 2000. They can operate beyond the OPA-90 phase-out date of 2015. The remaining 93 tankers under OPA-90 rules are phased out between 2000-2005, 2010 and 2015. It is possible that several vessels can be extended beyond 2015 by reason of being double hull even though they will be in excess of 35 years of age. The phase-out is as follows:
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